The Novel, Volume 2
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The Novel, Volume 2 : Forms and Themes

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Nearly as global in its ambition and sweep as its subject, Franco Moretti's The Novel is a watershed event in the understanding of the first truly planetary literary form. A translated selection from the epic five-volume Italian Il Romanzo (2001-2003), The Novel's two volumes are a unified multiauthored reference work, containing more than one hundred specially commissioned essays by leading contemporary critics from around the world. Providing the first international comparative reassessment of the novel, these essential volumes reveal the form in unprecedented depth and breadth--as a great cultural, social, and human phenomenon that stretches from the ancient Greeks to today, where modernity itself is unimaginable without the genre. By viewing the novel as much more than an aesthetic form, this landmark collection demonstrates how the genre has transformed human emotions and behavior, and the very perception of reality. Historical, statistical, and formal analyses show the novel as a complex literary system, in which new forms proliferate in every period and place. Volume 2: Forms and Themes, views the novel primarily from the inside, examining its many formal arrangements and recurrent thematic manifestations, and looking at the plurality of the genre and its lineages. These books will be essential reading for all students and scholars of literature.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 960 pages
  • 157.48 x 233.68 x 50.8mm | 1,270.05g
  • Princeton University Press
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • 0691134731
  • 9780691134734
  • 482,126

Review quote

"There is very much worth exploring in Moretti's excellent collection of essays. . . . Moretti's fine collection is a robust testimony to the novel's long, complex, multicultural history."--Steven D. Smith, International Journal of the Classical Tradition "Moretti's ability in his own criticism to use a playful, informal style is quite remarkable; he quickly puts readers at ease as he calls into question a great deal of what they think they know about narrative. . . . In short, both the range and the content of these essays are exceptionally lively and dynamic, and the writing is sophisticated."--Brian Evenson, Novel: A Forum on Fiction "Hugely ambitious. . . . Explores fiction with a capaciousness that's exhilarating as well as eye-opening, as a galactic crew of critics swoop in on subjects ranging from ancient China to Toni Morrison."--Marina Warner, The New Statesman "There is a great deal to relish here...Moretti and his contributors have succeeded in making the study of the novel--if not the entire 'literary field'--'longer, larger and deeper' that it was before, or than any single scholar could ever make it."--London Review Bookshop "No reader will come away from these volumes without a long list of novels they now want to read--novels, in many cases, well-known within their own linguistic or national tradition but unfamiliar outside of it. . . . [This is] a project so capacious, so audacious, so polyvocal--in a word, so novel."--Leah Price, Novel: A Forum on Fiction "This two-volume set is the most important resource on the novel now available. Like the novel itself, this work spans the globe and the centuries. . . . Essential."--Choice "An essential resource for all academic collections serving students of language and literature."--Thomas L. Cooksey, Library Journal "When you open The Novel . . . you may think you know what a novel is; by the time you close it . . . you are no longer sure. . . . The sheer diversity of topics here is exciting and opens up many new horizons. . . . It is impossible to understand why the novel has been the quintessential modern art form, and why it has appealed to writers and readers around the globe, without understanding the circumstances of its rise in Western Europe in the 18th century. . . . [I]t helped to incarnate the modern sensibility, and to teach its readers what it means to be modern. . . . If the novel is indeed losing its central position in our imaginative life . . . it can only be because modernity itself is slipping away, with all it distinctive promise and menace."--Adam Kirsch, New York Sun Praise for Italian edition: "[These] interesting, useful books . . . are not humble, simply informative manuals: they offer essays that lead in multiple directions and examine fundamental problems and questions. They assess the breadth of current studies and they establish an analytical horizon for advanced contemporary culture."--Giulio Ferrot, L'Unita Praise for Italian edition: "There are books that you read and reread, others that you consult when useful or just for the pleasure . . . . [The Novel] belongs to both categories because it is much more than a mere collection of essays on a specific subject (in this case, the novel as literary genre, reinterpreted through contributions by novelists, critics, philosophers, anthropologists, and historians from every part of the world). Its changing, evocative flavors are so mouthwatering that it is like a platter of tapas, the little appetizers served by Catalans before a meal, which often take the place of an entire meal. The topic is books--a continuous game of citations and reflections. From the outset, it gives the reader symptoms of an ancient hunger. We are not sure what pushes us to read it and we try to grab and hold on to as much of it as possible . . . . [The Novel] is not a book. It is a Pantagruelian feast that awakens limitless appetites. It helps to remind us how many flavors can be found in literature and--above all--how many we have lost by eating fast food for the brain."--Diego De Silva, Il Mattino Praise for Italian edition: "These volumes are a heroic attempt to capture the great animal of words that we call The Novel. The hunting strategy employed by Franco Moretti and his contributors proves complex and articulated but at the same time oblique and diversified. A merely systematic work could never handle this subject. Neither could a totally anarchic approach . . . . This work is destined to occupy an important place in contemporary reflections on the novel and on narrative forms in general. The essays are agile but not superficial, specialized but readable, and current . . . . More than anything else, [The Novel] arouses one's desire to read and reread literary works."--Dario Voltolini, La Stampa "[A] very ambitious collection . . . . The Novel is an impressive achievement, and precisely because Moretti was so willing to include perspectives that diverge sharply from his own."--William Deresiewicz, Nation "It's a rare literary critic who attracts so much public attention, and there's good reason: few are as hell-bent on rethinking the way we talk about literature. . . . There's no question that people will still be talking about these volumes twenty-five years from now."--Eric Bulson, Times Literary Supplement "The most crucial aspect of the Il romanzo project is the idea driving it to see literature globally, to free 'the novel' from its modernist, strictly Western center of emergence and consider instead how the form has mutated around the world, and why."--Emilie Bickerton, Bookforum One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2007Honorable Mention for the 2007 John G. Cawelti Award, American Culture Associationshow more

Table of contents

On The Novel ix 2.1. THE LONG DURATIONThe Novel in Search of Itself: A Historical Morphology by THOMAS PAVEL 3Epic, Novel by MASSIMO FUSILLO 32The Poetry of Mediocrity by SYLVIE THOREL-CAILLETEAU 64The Experiments of Time: Providence and Realism by FREDRIC JAMESON 95Readings: Prototypes Massimo Fusillo, Aethiopika (Heliodorus, Third or Fourth Century) 131Abdelfattah Kilito, Maqamat (Hamadhany FD, Late Tenth Century) 138Francisco Rico, Lazarillo de Tormes ("Lazaro de Tormes," circa 1553) 146Thomas DiPiero, Le Grand Cyrus (Madeleine de Scudery, 1649-1653) 152Perry Anderson, Persian Letters (Montesquieu, 1721) 161Ian Duncan, Waverley (Walter Scott, 1814) 173Paolo Tortonese, The Mysteries of Paris (Eugene Sue, 1842-1843) 181Geoffrey Winthrop-Young, The War of the Worlds (H. G. Wells, 1898) 189Ambrosio Fornet, The Kingdom of This World (Alejo Carpentier, 1949) 1962.2. WRITING PROSE Forms of the Supernatural in Narrative by FRANCESCO ORLANDO 207The Prose of the World by MICHAL PELED GINSBURG AND LORRI G. NANDREA 244Excess and History in Hugo's Ninety-three by UMBERTO ECO 274Minor Characters by ALEX WOLOCH 295324Toward a Database of Novelistic Topoi by NATHALIE FERRAND 3242.3. THEMES, FIGURES The Fiction of Bourgeois Morality and the Paradox of Individualism by NANCY ARMSTRONG 349The Death of Lucien de Rubempre by A. S. BYATT 389A Portrait of the Artist as a Social Climber: Upward Mobility in the Novel by BRUCE ROBBINS 409A Businessman in Love by FREDRIC JAMESON 436Readings: Narrating Politics Benedict Anderson, Max Havelaar (Multatuli, 1860) 449Luisa Villa, The Tiger of Malaysia (Emilio Salgari, 1883-1884) 463Edoarda Masi, Ah Q (Lu Hsun, 1921-1922) 469Thomas Lahusen, Cement (Fedor Gladkov, 1925) 476Piergiorgio Bellocchio, A Private Matter (Beppe Fenoglio, 1963) 483Simon Gikandi, Arrow of God (Chinua Achebe, 1964) 489Jose Miguel Oviedo, Conversation in the Cathedral (Mario Vargas Llosa, 1969) 497Klaus R. Scherpe, The Aesthetics of Resistance (Peter Weiss, 1975-1981) 503Readings: The Sacrifice of the Heroine April Alliston, Aloisa and Melliora (Love in Excess, Eliza Haywood, 1719-1720) 515Juliet Mitchell, Natasha and Helene (War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy, 1863-1869) 534Sylvie Thorel-Cailleteau, Nana (Nana, Emile Zola, 1880) 541Valentine Cunningham, Tess (Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy, 1891) 548Peter Madsen, Elsie (The Dangerous Age, Karin Michaelis, 1910) 5592.4. S PACE AND STORY Over-writing as Un-writing: Descriptions, World-Making, and Novelistic Time by MIEKE BAL 571The Roads of the Novel by HANS ULRICH GUMBRECHT 611The Chronotopes of the Sea by MARGARET COHEN 647667Torn Space: James Joyce's Ulysses by PHILIP FISHER 667Readings: The New Metropolis Leo Ou-fan Lee, Shanghai (Midnight, Mao Dun, 1932) 687Ernesto Franco, Buenos Aires (Adan Buenosayres, Leopoldo Marechal, 1948) 693Ernest Emenyonu, Lagos (People of the City, Cyprian Ekwensi, 1954) 700Roger Allen, Cairo (The Cairo Trilogy, Naguib Mahfouz, 1956-1957) 706Ardis L. Nelson, Havana (Three Trapped Tigers, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, 1967) 714Homi Bhabha, Bombay (Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie, 1981) 721Sibel Irzik, Istanbul (The Black Book, Orhan Pamuk, 1990) 7282.5. UNCERTAIN BOUNDARIES Form and Chance: The German Novella by ANDREAS GAILUS 739Inconceivable History: Storytelling as Hyperphasia and Disavowal by FRANCIS MULHERN 777Innovation: Notes on Nihilism and the Aesthetics of the Novel by JOHN BRENKMAN 808Narrative Literature in the Turing Universe by ESPEN AARSETH 839Readings: A Century of Experiments 871Andreina Lavagetto, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (Rainer Maria Rilke, 1910) 871Myra Jehlen, The Making of Americans (Gertrude Stein, 1925) 880Ann Banfield, Mrs. Dalloway (Virginia Woolf, 1925) 888Jose Luiz Passos, Macunaima (Mario de Andrade, 1928) 896Seamus Deane, Finnegans Wake ( James Joyce, 1939) 906Declan Kiberd, Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable (Samuel Beckett, 1951-1953) 912Beatriz Sarlo, Hopscotch ( Julio Cortazar, 1963) 919Ursula K. Heise, Gravity's Rainbow (Thomas Pynchon, 1973) 926Contributors 933Author Index 937Works Cited Index 944show more

About Franco Moretti

Franco Moretti is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Stanford University, where he founded the Center for the Study of the Novel. He is the author of Signs Taken for Wonders, The Way of the World, Modern Epic, Atlas of the European Novel 1800-1900, and Graphs, Maps, Trees.show more

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